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The Guys’ Guide To Looking Rich (Even If You Aren’t)

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So maybe you aren’t J.J. Watt. Maybe you aren’t a 6-foot-5-inch, 230-pound monster who can throw linemen around with the kind of absentminded ease most men use to close their car doors. Maybe you weren’t picked in the first round of the NFL draft, selected to several starts in Pro Bowls or named Defensive Player of the Year. Maybe you have not recently signed a $100 million contract.

Maybe you are J.J. Watt, but you probably aren’t. And that’s OK, because you and J.J. Watt might still have something in common. You both might still wonder what rich people buy. Unfortunately, here’s where some of the differences start cropping up again: After J.J. Watt was done Googling what rich people buy, he could just go out and buy it. Assuming again that you have not in fact signed a $100 million contract, you are going to need put an extra step in that process. After finding out what rich people buy, you need to find an affordable equivalent.

Luckily for you, you’ve got something that J.J. Watt doesn’t: this article. Here are a few ways you can look like you’ve got money without ever even smelling the kind of money an NFL MVP candidate rakes in.

Make Friends With The Wealthy

The easiest way to successfully pull off this illusion is to spend as much time rubbing elbows with people who aren’t faking it and hope that eventually some of their money starts rubbing off on you. Not this is easier said than done, since most rich people probably hang out in places you can’t really afford. However, most fancy restaurants don’t charge you anything to get in.

Fill up on cans of Chef Boyardee before going out and blow $20 on the cheapest appetizer or seltzer water the place has. If you’re confident and act like you belong, no one is going to ask to see your receipt – and really, they probably wouldn’t even if you act standoffish and prove unable to bullsh*t your way through a conversation about yachting. Plus, all you need is to meet just one person, just a single lynch-pin, who can introduce you to an entire network of wealthy folks.

A great way to do this is with SeekingAlpha, which is like Facebook for finance and the stock market. It only took me a couple clicks to connect to financial guru Keith Springer who I now follow for expert advice. Now I can see his connections and get to know the people in his inner circle. And once you’re in with a group, you will be able to grasp some of the finer points of their behavior and imitate them all the more successfully. Heck, you might pick up enough investment tips along the way to actually become wealthy yourself.

Get A Cheap Luxury Car

If you have enough cash saved up for a new car, think about whether you’d rather be rolling in a brand new Hyundai or a used Cadillac. If you’re a wealthy person, you’re never going to be in a Hyundai – unless you’re trying to look like a modest billionaire a la Warren Buffett who has lived in the same house in Omaha for 60 years – but since you’re reading this article, this probably isn’t the case.

Honestly, lots of luxury cars don’t change all that much in appearance from year to year. To the uninformed eye, this Infiniti G35 could have been made last year and you can have it for less than $15,000. Chances are more people are going to recognize a cheap brand of car than figure out the year your car was made and calculate how much it’s depreciated in value.

Get The Right Threads

Naturally, you are going to stick out in these fancy places no matter who you know if you aren’t wearing the proper uniform. Luckily for you, most truly expensive brands don’t mark their clothes with logos. You should avoid all clothing with visible labels, and make sure any piece of formal clothing you wear is properly fitted. This might mean a trip to the tailor, but even if you skimp on brand, absolutely do not skimp on the fit. Not everyone will be able to tell if your suit is Versace or off the rack at JC Penney’s, but they’ll definitely know something is off if you look like a kid playing dress-up with clothes from your dad’s closet.

A crucial detail many people overlook is the quality of your shoes. Even if you’re decked out in a great-fitting suit, if your shoes are beat up it’s all for nothing. Keep them clean. Keep them shiny. Don’t wear square-toed shoes.

No Need To Live A Lie Forever

Remember that you only have to fake it until you make it. No need to pull a Jay Gatsby here. You don’t want to end up with a library full of books, but never bother to read any of them. Achieving status can be exciting, but probably not at the expense of bankrupting yourself or alienating your less brand-conscious friends. So stay away from floating green lights or something; I’m not sure, I haven’t read that book in a while.

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